Thalictrum thalictroides (Rue Anemone)

Plant Info
Also known as: Meadowrue
Family:Ranunculaceae (Buttercup)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:part shade, shade; woods
Bloom season:April - June
Plant height:4 to 8 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: FAC MW: FACU NCNE: FACU
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

Pick an image for a larger view. See the glossary for icon descriptions.

Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 6-petals Flower shape: 7+petals

[photo of flowers] 1 to 6 stalked flowers in a whorl at the top of the stem. Flowers are ½ to 1 inch across with 5 to 10 petal-like sepals that are rounded or notched at the tip. Surrounding the green center are numerous yellow-tipped stamens. Flower color is pink or white and sometimes double flowers develop.

Leaves: Leaf attachment: basal Leaf attachment: opposite Leaf attachment: whorl Leaf type: compound

[photo of stem leaves] Basal leaves are long stalked, twice compound with 3 groups of 3 leaflets. Leaflets are hairless, have 3 or more shallow rounded lobes or notches at the tip end, are about 1 inch long and have a stalk up to about 1 inch long. An opposite pair of once compound leaves is at the base of the flower stalks but often the leaf stalk (not the leaflet stalk) is absent so they appear as a whorl of about 6 stalked leaves surrounding the flowers. Stems are multiple from the base, hairless, erect, and unbranched.

Fruit: Fruit type: seed without plume

[photo of fruit] Fruits are oval, about ¼ inch long and are ribbed.


The flowers of Rue Anemone, Wood Anemone and Canada Anemone are all similar and they may all be in bloom around the same time, but the leaves are distinctly different enough to avoid confusing them, and Wood Anemone and Canada Anemone both more consistently have 5-parted flowers. Canada Anemone is also a much taller plant and blooms into the summer.

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken at Battle Creek Regional Park, Ramsey County, and Wild River State Park, Chisago County. Other photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Amber - Hennepin County-Minnetonka
on: 2010-04-11 16:10:26

Found at a park in Minnetonka near Minnetonka Blvd/Hopkins Crossroads on April 11.

Posted by: Nancy - Rochester
on: 2010-04-15 17:22:37

I found a couple of clumps in my wooded backyard in Rochester. I thought it was a snow drop at first, but a friend directed me to this site after a posted my picture on Facebook.

Posted by: Gretchen - Prior Lake, MN
on: 2010-04-18 21:52:02

Found loads of these in both pink and white at Crystal Lake park and Murphy Hanrehan park in Prior Lake on April 18.

Posted by: lylly - isle, mn
on: 2010-10-02 16:19:12

very butfull up close

Posted by: Jess - Lake City
on: 2011-05-11 21:01:59

We have several of these growing in our backyard. We live on the noth side of a hill.

Posted by: Al - Vadnais Heights
on: 2011-05-13 14:52:52

Found near Willow Lake. Also found Carex pensylvanica blooming nearby.

Posted by: Linda - Dakota County
on: 2011-07-15 13:41:01

There are large colonies of these in the woods across the road from our home in South St Paul. I also rescued some from a construction site a few years ago and transplanted them to my shady garden, where they've really taken off nicely. They're one of my favorite spring wildflowers.

Posted by: Cory - North Oaks
on: 2013-05-18 23:41:08

Found a small patch on a sloped woodland in front of our house today. Finally, some color in the Springtime.

Posted by: Miriam - Lebanon Hills Regional Park near Eagan
on: 2016-05-23 19:14:46

Saw this in the woods at Lebanon Hills Regional Park on May 21, blooming alongside the wild geraniums and columbine.

Posted by: Sheldon J - Highwood Park Nature Preserve, St. Paul
on: 2017-04-19 16:10:10

Sprinkled about, usually in places where the deer have not been eating everything.

Posted by: Kathryn - Prior Lake near CR 21 & 42
on: 2017-04-21 15:22:16

Found a whole bunch of these blooming in the woods.

Posted by: Peg Twining-Prentice - Soumi Trails area, North of Grand Rapids
on: 2019-04-26 11:18:52

I found a dark purple Rue Anemone while walking in woods, April 25th, 2019. Wood Anemone were also plentiful in this area.

Posted by: Sue Dacko - Sunfish Lake Park, Lake Elmo
on: 2020-05-04 07:14:41

Saw these beautiful flowers yesterday while walking the trails in the park. Used PlantNet app to figure out what they were, and came here to get information on the flowers. Pink variety at Sunfish Lake Park.

Posted by: Nancy - William O'Brien State Park
on: 2020-05-12 22:16:59

These were blooming at William O'Brien State Park on Monday, May 11, 2020.

Posted by: K Kinkead - Afton state park
on: 2021-05-08 20:28:50

Observed along the river trail.

Posted by: Peter O. - Afton, MN
on: 2022-04-16 13:13:03

A pale pink form of this grows beging my house in a small colony. They aren't in bloom yet, but I'm very excited to see them again this year. This has to be my favorite little flower in the woods. It's absolutely adorable, and I love how delicate the little flowers are.

Posted by: Curtis - Savage, MN
on: 2023-04-30 14:28:20

These were blooming on April 30, 2023 at Murphy Hanrehan nature preserve between marker 1 and 2, a little ways off the trail. Very light purple, and at least one of them had 8 sepals.

Posted by: Brian - Minnesota Valley Rest Area, Le Sueur County
on: 2023-05-21 20:55:18

The Minnesota Valley Rest Area on US 169 north of Le Sueur has a large population of this species. They grow in woods near the edge of a drop-off in the southeast part of the rest area. They are in bloom now (May 21, 2023). The population contains both white- and pink-flowered versions.

Posted by: Steve Porter - Highwood
on: 2023-05-26 05:03:08

Found in a low lying backyard that falls off into a swamp. Blooming in early to mid may.

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